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Society • 26 March, 2019

Government and National Bank plan to limit margins on Internet loans to protect interests of citizens

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At the press conference in the Government, Deputy Chairman of the National Bank Zhanat Kurmanov told what functions would be assigned to the National Bank after signing the Agreement on the Coordination of Macroeconomic Policy Measures for 2019.

According to Zhanat Kurmanov, the National Bank will adhere to the implementation of a freely floating exchange rate regime, which is based on the demand and supply of currency on the Kazakhstan Stock Exchange.

"It is very important to ensure transparency of the supply of demand for currency from banks and their customers, it is important that the state takes certain measures to disclose information about how the National Fund will be converted in the foreign exchange market, how the quasi-public sector enterprises will come to the market to make it more predictable,” he said.

Kurmanov noted that there will be no definite forecast of the tenge rate from the National Bank. It is about providing more disclosed information on supply and demand in the foreign exchange market from the subjects of economic activity.

In relation to online loans, according to the deputy chairman of the National Bank, in order to reduce risks in the field of consumer lending, which manifest themselves in the form of loans to the population at elevated interest rates, comprehensive work will be carried out.

“We analyze international experience and plan to make certain proposals in order to expand the perimeter of regulation of non-bank credit organizations taking into account international practice,” said Kurmanov.

Meanwhile, according to the speaker’s explanation, no transfer of the regulatory function from the National Bank to the Government and vice versa is assumed. The National Bank will continue to exercise its regulatory functions in accordance with the law on the National Bank.

“We will try to fully regulate the financial market and in this regard, if the expansion of the National Bank’s function with respect to non-regulated credit organizations is required, we will prepare the corresponding proposal. The main objective of the National Bank is to provide prices, and in this regard, the National Bank will continue its independent policy within the framework of monetary policy using appropriate monetary instruments,” he explained.

The Deputy Chairman of the National Bank informed that the target corridor for inflation is determined in the range of 4-6% up to 2021.

“We analyzed the relevant external and internal factors that affect inflation, in this regard, we expect that, taking into account these factors, it will be right to keep in the range of 4-6%, and in the future, if inflation decreases, we will move 3-5% in the corridor. The issue of inflation is not only the National Bank, but there are also issues on the side of the Government. With this in mind, we have just signed an agreement in order to coordinate our actions in implementing measures to reduce inflation in Kazakhstan,” he said.

In addition, Kurmanov added that the National Bank plans to conduct an assessment of the quality of the banks' loan portfolio.

“Many of the issues of risk-based supervision are focused on the banking sector. This is of course a very sensitive process. How do banks solve their questions on the quality of assets and the quality of their loan portfolio? To this end, we are planning, taking into account international experience, to assess the quality of the loan portfolio of banks, and then draw the appropriate conclusions for ourselves. Based on the results of this, we will, among other things, apply the corresponding risk-oriented supervision, which is because the greater the risk a credit institution bears, the more supervisory attention from the regulator is needed. This principle will be preserved,” he explained.

In turn, First Deputy Prime Minister – Minister of Finance Alikhan Smailov noted that such unregulated credit organizations provide loans to the population at very high interest rates, taking advantage of the financial illiteracy of the people of Kazakhstan.

“We need to regulate their activities, limit this margin in order to protect the interests of our citizens. Therefore, the National Bank proposes to give them the appropriate authority to regulate such credit organizations in order to limit, prevent them from profit, in fact, these are fraudulent schemes for illiteracy and insufficient awareness of citizens on the financial terms of lending,” Smailov added.

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